The Mesoamerican Laboratory Ceramic Type Collections Project

The Peabody Museum’s ceramic collections represent important sites from throughout Mesoamerica, and many were collected by some of the most influential scholars in Mesoamerican studies. The collections provide comparative samples for contemporary archaeologists working at the same sites or in regions where similar types of pottery may be found, and in many cases are the only representative type collections available out of their country of origin, making them invaluable resources for faculty, students, and scholars. Over the years, many of the type collections had fallen into a state of disorganization, due to their use by multiple generations of students and scholars. In consultation with Barbara Fash and William Fash, Dr. Ann Seiferle-Valencia established an organizational system for the complete documentation, identification, and re-organization of the ceramic type collections. Since 2011, Dr. Jennifer Carballo (pictured below) has continued the project, and over 40,000 sherds from 14 sites have been reorganized to date. In 2015-2016, Jenny will continue reorganizing additional collections currently housed in the Mesoamerican Laboratory, and help implement the TMS data input of the type collections.


Left: Reorganizing ceramic type collections. Right: Ceramics from the Basin of Mexico before reorganization. Photos by Jennifer Carballo.